Augusta becomes the first city to use a new standardized active shooter response plan


AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – It’s an effort to make sure everyone is on the same page if ever called to respond to an active shooter or hostile situation.

During a symposium at the First Presbyterian Church on Telfair Street, Augusta became the first city in America to utilize the National Fire Protection Association’s standard active shooter, hostile event response plan. For short its called the NFPA Standard 3000. One of the authors of the plan is Dr. Amado Baez. He’s the director of the Center of Operational Medicine at Augusta University.

“Of course we hope it never happens here but if it does, there needs to be a road map on how to do all those things and there wasn’t one. Here before 2018, it was a lot of different organizations doing the best they could to put out and publish ideas but not all of them were inner-operable,” said John Ryan. He’s the coordinator for the Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response at Augusta University.

Many law enforcement agencies, including federal ones, business leaders and concerned locals learned more about what to do when catastrophic events happen. More than 200 people signed up for the symposium. Medical experts from around the country are at the event too.

EMS Medical Director at the University of Connecticut (UConn) Dr. Richard Karmin said, “The folks who are organizing the response hopefully will take into consideration what is very normal and expected effect emotionally and psychiatrically after these events. Frequently we refer to that as acute stress.”

“Now here we are in the early 2000s, the needs of the community are built around an inner-operable need for fire service folks to work with law enforcement folks. To work with E-M-S, to work with emergency management, for the community to work together for this very complex event,” added Ryan.

The NFPA Standard 3000 plan includes identifying hazards, assessing vulnerability, resource management and all other aspects of an active shooter, hostile event response.

“There’s an enormous amount of stuff that goes on in the background. Hopefully planning that isn’t done on the day of the event is happening. One of the reasons why Boston did well, and they had an unbelievable response to that event, is because they prepared. Unbelievably well-prepared city,” said Dr. Kamin.

Throughout the year, the National Fire Protection Agency will monitor and document Augusta’s progress with the NFPA Standard 3000. Hoping Augusta will serve as a model for other communities that want to develop an active shooter, hostile event response plan.

Rick Berry, Co-Chair of the Greater Augusta Employer Committee said, “Those who are in human relations or staffing, that kind of thing, are an important team in any kind of an event like this.”

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